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To be scared about colposcopy tomorrow?

(37 Posts)
MumVsKids Thu 03-Jan-13 20:21:08

I don't really know what the procedure entails, just that I need one as I've had some dodgy smear results.

I think I'm scared mostly at the speed of the appointments.

Smear was on 12th December, results back on 19th and phone call from hospital on Xmas eve to make appt for tomorrow.

Does it normally happen that fast?

TheMysteryCat Thu 03-Jan-13 20:25:13

Yes it does happen that fast. The procedure is very quick too. It didn't hurt and had no after effects. I had further treatment, which was uncomfortable, but again no where near as painful as I thought it would be.

There should be a nurse with the doctor too and they were both friendly and helped distract me!

diddl Thu 03-Jan-13 20:25:38

Easier said than done, but try not to worry.

I had one years ago-it´s like a smear & once the scope is in-pretty much like a speculum, that´s the worst over tbh.

I did have my legs in stirrups which I found uncomfortable as I´m short.

The nurse was lovely though & let me hold her hand.

Don´t be afraid of saying how you feel.

Will you also be having treatment?

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 03-Jan-13 20:28:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Montybojangles Thu 03-Jan-13 20:31:35

Yes it does happen that fast. I think the general guideline is for colposcopy within 4 weeks if any changed cells are seen.
It's often just a very small area, which shows up with a dye and can be removed with a little bit of cautery. I've had it. Wasn't the nicest thing ever, but not really painful or distressing. Smears all fine since then, touch wood.

TheTiger Thu 03-Jan-13 20:32:26

Try not to worry, it's really not that bad. I thought it was very similar sensation to a smear. My first one lasted around 15 mins and they took some biopsies of the abnormal cells, then called me back 4 weeks later to remove the cells. The treatment was uncomfortable but not really painful. It's a bit undignified as you have your legs up in stirrups, but there will be a nurse there to support you, and they let DH sit next to me too. Is somebody going with you?

Take a sanitary towel as you may bleed a little afterwards. Good Luck, you will be fine!

diddl Thu 03-Jan-13 20:34:39

I also had laser treatment at the same time.

Had an anaesthetic into cervix-which I didn´t feel at all.

The treatment didn´t hurt, but it did smell.

Had period pains when the anaesthetic wore off & lost clots & brown lumps!

MumVsKids Thu 03-Jan-13 20:35:47

DH is coming with me yes.

Thank you, I feel a bit better now.

I don't know if I'll be having treatment too, I guess it depends what they find?

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 03-Jan-13 20:36:47

I have no personal experience myself but my fries recently had to have the procedure. It happened pretty quickly for her too.

I took her there but obvioisly didnt go in the room with her. She said it was a bit painful but that the nurse held her hand. It over quite quilckly.

She felt quite unwell afterwards though. Can anyone drive you or can you get a taxi? She was fine the next day,but straight after didn't feel great and was very grateful she didn't have to walk or get a bus.

Hope all goes well for you OP.

EasilyBored Thu 03-Jan-13 20:38:30

I had a colposcopy and a LEEP in October. It was no worse than a smear, did not hurt at all. If the give you the option of taking the cells off there and then, do it. It doesn't hurt, the anesthetics in your cervix feel weird as hell but not painful. I was utterly terrified before I went and I wouldn't bat an eye kid at having to have another one now. Lots of handholding over here.

poorbuthappy Thu 03-Jan-13 20:39:21

I had 1 done at 4 months pregnant.
The thought of it is worse than the actual act.
When i had mine done the doc asked if a student could be present to which I said yes. I turned round to find a Brad Pitt lookalike saying thank you and introducing himself.

To say I was flustered was an understatement!

IamtheZombie Thu 03-Jan-13 20:41:58

A colposcopy is basically an extended smear test with a few bits added on.

Once the speculum is in the nurse will paint the cervix first with acetic acid (basically vinegar) and then with iodine. These will make any abnormal areas stand out. If there is something of concern (there won't always be - I've had more abnormal smear results than I've had hot dinner but there has never been anything to treat when a coloposcopy has been done) it may be treated there and then or you may be given another appointment. Please try not to worry.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 03-Jan-13 20:44:18

I agree with what the others are saying.
No worse than a smear.Really.

You will be fine.

verytellytubby Thu 03-Jan-13 20:44:38

Good luck.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 03-Jan-13 20:48:44

Had one years ago.

As others said, was on treatment couch in stirrups. Camera in, got to see my own cervix (big pink donut!) on the telly.

local anathestic injection into cervix which felt a bit like getting a jag at the dentist, uncomfortable but not sore.

Had a cone biopsy (which looked huge on the telly, but was tiny), then treatment (cant remember exactly but they either burnt or froze off the top layer of cells) which I didnt feel at all after the anathesic.

All happened really quickly, and doctors and nurses were really nice.

Quite sore cramps a few hours later when anathestic wore off, so make sure youve got painkillers at the ready. Fine the next day.

Biopsy and future smear results came back clear.

Remember being really worried about the whole thing, kept it a big secret as didnt want anyone to know incase it was really bad news. It wasnt until after and I spoke to friends that I realised its a very common procedure, especially for pill users (iirc pill causes cervical erosion).

Hope it all goes ok for you tomorrow.

Dogsmom Thu 03-Jan-13 20:52:11

I've had one and it wasn't too bad, yes my legs were in stirrups but the gynae was lovely and chatted away about his christmas dinner, I had a nurse holding my hand and generally distracting me.
He took 2 biopsies which entailed me coughing while he snipped a bit off, I did feel it but it wasn't painful and I had what felt like normal period pains for a couple of days after.

ThedementedPenguin Thu 03-Jan-13 21:03:30

I had one done on the 12th dec. I had smear sometime in November, letter from doc saying I being referred and got a call next week.

Anyways... I was so nervous before mine but you will be fine.

Basically you get another smear, I seen my cervix on a screen. Spray some solution to see abnormal cells. I got a biopsy done, which kinda hurt but your given GA so it's not so bad.

The only thing I was exhausted after and a bit sore. Nothing a paracetamol didn't sort out.

Honestly it's nothing to worry about. You'll be fine.

Blatherskite Thu 03-Jan-13 21:04:04

I had one in 2005. Same as everyone else, they got me up in stirrups, sprayed on the vinegary stuff to make the abnormal cells show up and then removed the odd cells with a heated loop.

It's a distant memory now but I don't remember it being anything more than uncomfortable. I definitely had some period like pains afterwards though and know I spent the rest of the day on the sofa and a couple of days after that taking it easy on doctors orders.

My smears have all been normal since although I do have to have them annually now and because of the level of change the cells they removed showed, I will need to keep having them annually for 10 years. To be honest, I'm so used to it now, I think it'll feel like a very long time between smears when I go back to having them 3 yearly.

IdaBlankenship Thu 03-Jan-13 21:08:20

Please don't be scared. It is fairly quick and the worst bit is having the local anaesthetic put in. The nurse held my hand and talked to me throughout to distract me, and it wasn't as bad as I was fearing. I had severe dyskaryosis (sp?) and was imagining all sorts of horrid scenarios especially as I hadn't had a smear test done for 6 years (stupidly get putting it off), but they got rid of it all and I have had normal smears since. Good luck.

BelaLug0si Thu 03-Jan-13 21:10:10

OP you may find this site useful. It's the colposcopists' association website site. I've linked to the questions section, it lncludes a video about colposcopy.

Just out of interest, did your results letter or your appointment letter include a leaflet explaining your results and what colposcopy is? It's supposed to be sent out to you before your appointment.

Best of luck for tomorrow.

LegArmpits Thu 03-Jan-13 21:15:21

Honestly. I was the most terrified person in the world this time last week. I wrote a post in General Health afterwards (and before!) with the express intent of wanting to reassure people about the procedure. Without doubt the worst part of it is not knowing what they'll find/say/the unknown. I knew I was going for LLETZ treatment (which was worse in a way) but I've actually had worse dental visits. Seriously, the nurses were fantastic, reassured at every step of the way and a week past treatment, my worst symptom is a bit of tiredness really. Haven't bled, just some discharge (mm, nice) that warrants a light pad. Even the anaesthetic, which I was really worried about, I didn't even know she'd done it until it was over.

I know everyone is different, but really, the worst bit is in your mind (my mind too, currently terrified of the postman) - the actual physical aspect of it is ok.

Thinking of you and offering a hand hold.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Thu 03-Jan-13 21:16:08

I had a thread running in chat as I was absolutely terrified. In fact everyone in the waiting room looked worried tbh beforehand. Thankfully I got chatting to someone really lovely as I waited. She went in first, when she came out, she told me it was all fine and that helped me massively.

When I went in myself the waiting room was empty, but as I came out there were 4 very scared faces looking at me.

I had a man carry the procedure out. He had 2 nurses with him and one of them held my hand. I had 2 biopsies taken but no heated wire loop treatment. I'm awaiting the results at the moment actually, so I may have to go back. But I won't be half as nervous next time. They were very sensitive and caring and did everything they could to maintain my dignity. In fact, I found it far more dignified than a smear.

I asked them to turn the screen away, as I'm squeamish and I couldn't face seeing myself close up blush Which they were more than happy to do.

The leaflet suggested wearing skirt, that was a wise move I found. So wear a skirt is my advice. Good luck.

Alconleigh Thu 03-Jan-13 21:16:28

As per the others, I've had one, followed by treatment on another occasion, followed by another colposcopy to check if all still ok. All were fine. The nurse singing "ground control to major Tom" up at my cervix was simultaneously hilarious and possibly insulting!

LegArmpits Thu 03-Jan-13 21:19:03

Also, don't be scared of the "colposcopy" aspect at all. In a way, it's better than a smear, because you'll likely be more comfortable (in a proper set up rather than a doctors surgery) and if they DON'T take any biopsies, you shouldn't really feel a thing as all they do is spray some vinegar up your fanjo and have a look. Ask them for a modesty blanket, this made a massive difference for me.

EuroShagmore Thu 03-Jan-13 21:28:55

The colposcopy itself is, as others have said, just a glorified smear (in a more comfortable chair, in my experience). Speculum in, get the camera focussed (I found seeing my cervix on the screen fascinating), then paint the cervix with a solution (this doesn't hurt, feels a bit like a smear) and for me that was it. They couldn't find anything to biopsy, so they just gave me a repeat smear during the colposcopy (again, seeing that done in glorious technicolour was fascinating!).

To complete the story to date, that smear also showed abnormalities (although nothing had been visible), but I had another one 3 months later as part of a work medical and it was clear. I won't quite believe it until I have a second clear one, but fingers crossed, the abnormality has cleared up by itself.

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